Learn why dental care and diabetes are so closely related and special attention is needed.
Although not everyone knows this, dental care and diabetes are two closely related factors, making your oral health an extremely important part of your management plan when you are treating this disease.
It is a fact that people that suffer from this illness are at a greater risk of developing diabetes dental problems because of the changes in the blood circulation, the amount of sugar on their saliva and the way bacteria behaves inside their mouths.
While there is not one specific dental treatment for diabetic patients, there are many things that should be taken into consideration when handling your diabetes and that will prevent your oral health from suffering.
Excess of glucose (which is present in your saliva) can cause pain, inflammation, infection and other problems. Just in the same way, a patient that suffers from diabetes may experience what is known as “dry mouth” or a diminished production of saliva.
This lesser amount promotes a faster growth of bacteria, which leads to plaque buildup, which – in turn – can cause gum disease, tooth decay, infections, etc. Dental care and diabetes requires special attention to be paid to your oral hygiene in order to avoid these types of complications.
In many instances, people with un-diagnosed diabetes can suspect the presence of the disease because of the way their mouth feels or whether or not they can notice changes in their gums and tissue.
That is also the case for those that have been diagnosed but have chosen not to treat their ailment. In these cases, the appearance of diabetes dental problems can become evident through:
- The sensation of inflamed and/or painful gums
- Having bad breath that simply won’t go away after flossing and brushing
- Suffering from gingivitis (bleeding gums)
- Have problems tasting foods and liquids
- Pain in the mouth and jaw area that does not seem to go away
- Having pain when chewing your food
- A sore, ulcer or infection that does not go away
- Seeing dark circles, spots or even holes in your teeth
- Having loose teeth
Developing a dental treatment for diabetic patients is imperative whenever one or several of these signs appear. Visiting your dentist is the number one step to be able to control and repair the damages that diabetes may have caused to your oral health.
For this reason, dental care and diabetes specialists both recommend that – if you have been diagnosed – you do not skip your dental appointments and regular check-ups, and that you actually call and report any changes you may notice that could lead to a painful situation.
So, what can you do to prevent dental complications that arise from having diabetes? Aside from sticking to your routine appointments, the following tips are helpful in maintaining a good oral health:
- Follow-up your diabetes management plan, by taking your medicine on time, visiting your Specialist whenever is scheduled and testing your blood sugar levels on a daily basis;
- Avoid smoking, as this practice increases your risk of suffering from gum and teeth disease, and it is counterproductive to those who are trying to have a good and successful diabetes management plan;
- Floss and brush your teeth at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and following up with a good mouthwash, since these protect the teeth from decay and control the production of bacteria that may be harmful;
- If you wear dentures or removable prosthetics, keep them clean and take them out at night. Have them adjusted if they become loose or uncomfortable;
- Avoid sugary foods (which is part of a good diabetes plan) and anything that may trigger the appearance of cavities;
- Drink water regularly to prevent the dry mouth sensation and help flush out bacteria;
- If the dentist determines that you require medication to treat any type of oral infection, stick to the treatment plan as recommended.
All of these tips are helpful for a good dental care and diabetes management plan. Talk to your doctor today to see what you could be doing to improve your health and avoid complications that can arise from this disease.